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'STARVING COUNTIES'

No salaries for county staff if budget is cut - Governors

Governors say government is holding back devolved development functions to only pay salaries

In Summary

• State proposed Sh310 billion in equitable share, Sh38 billion conditional grants from the development partners and Sh14 billion from the national government. 

• Talks between DP and CoG on Friday after talks between MPs and governors failed. 

Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya (C) with governor Wyclife Wangamati (Bungoma) and Nderitu Mureithi (Laikipia) after they presented the Budget Proposal Statement before Senate Finance Committee on February 25, 2019.
Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya (C) with governor Wyclife Wangamati (Bungoma) and Nderitu Mureithi (Laikipia) after they presented the Budget Proposal Statement before Senate Finance Committee on February 25, 2019.
Image: JACK OWUOR

Governors on Tuesday threatened to withhold county employees' wages if the national government reduces county budgets for 2019-20. 

The county chiefs said in a statement that the national government was holding back funds for devolved development functions such as health, education, water, agriculture and disaster management to only pay salaries.

“We must state that if mediation fails, county governments will decline to receive money for salaries (recurrent) for services they will not be providing. We cannot be so insensitive to the desires of our citizens who overwhelmingly voted for devolution,” Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said.

 

Counties were responding to the National Treasury report following the expected  Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council meeting on Friday.

IBEC is made up of the CoG and Deputy President William Ruto. The meeting follows failed mediation talks between governors and MPs.

The mediation follows a proposal by the CRA and National Treasury presented to Parliament on the way forward following a failed consensus on the division of revenue between CoG and the national government.

“The CoG is concerned about the direction the mediation process is beginning to take. We are aware that Thursday is the deadline for this process. For county governments, the bigger picture is that we are heading to a halt where services will significantly be affected,” Oparanya said.

Documents obtained by the Star from the National Treasury state that the national government had proposed that counties receive Sh310 billion in equitable share.

"The devolved units will receive Sh14 billion in conditional grants from the national government and Sh38 billion in conditional grants from the development partners, bringing the total to Sh362 billion as revenue to counties,” they read. 

Key officials in IBEC told the Star that a PS in Finance warned the CoG that the government had experienced significant shortfall in revenue collection.

 

(Edited by R.Wamochie)